If you loved playing with clay or playdough as a kid, you’ll love decorating with fondant as a grown up! You can roll it, cut it, dye it, and form it into just about any shape. And it’s perfect for creating fancy kids’ birthday cakes. Fondant is fun! It’s not without its pressure points but the key is to enjoy the process and get your kids involved. I’ll show you how to decorate with fondant for beginners. But be warned, fondant is addictive. Once you start decorating with this gorgeous icing, you won’t look back….
As a mum to three girls I’ve put on my fair share of themed birthday parties. I’ve done a Fairy theme; Garden theme, Pink theme (no requests for superheroes in our house!) and I’ve managed to dodge a bullet, er, I mean request for a Frozen theme. I just can’t go there. Queen Elsa has invaded too many areas of my life already and I need some distance from her. Against better wisdom, perhaps, I always ask my children what theme they would like for their party. I had hoped my three year-old would request a Fairy Garden theme as I could simply combine the previous two parties, and, voila! But no, given her favourite colour right now is “all the colours of the rainbow” she asked for a Rainbow Party. And she got it….
Here’s the thing. You don’t need to be especially crafty to create party craft. With so many ‘picture perfect’ Pinterest boards it can be easy to feel intimidated. But, party craft does not need to be perfect to make an impact. And it doesn’t need to cost the earth or be a chore. It all begins with Washi tape – my secret weapon when it comes to craft. If you haven’t yet discovered Washi tape, now is the time. Washi tape is pretty, patterned masking tape and comes in various designs, colours and widths. It can make simple things look funky and fun! There are endless patterns, colours and sizes available so you can use it in as many ways as your imagination can come up with. It is easy to be creative with washi and for the “craft-challenged” mums like myself, it makes me feel I am oh-so-clever! It peels off easily from walls, without leaving a mark. However, most washi tapes are strong, and functional as well as pretty, making them wonderful for practical as well as decorative use. The only downside is that it’s slightly addictive. You’ve been warned….
Yesterday, 5 daughters, 5 sons-in-law and 14 grandchildren gathered together to celebrate my mum’s 70th birthday. And what a celebration it was! We enjoyed sensational food and wine in a gorgeous setting, vibrant and animated conversation (a staple of Fox family functions) and we toasted to a fine lady, loving and selfless mum, and all-round remarkable woman. If you want to read about why she’s so special, you can read about her here….
A garden party was the ideal theme for my daughter’s birthday. Four years ago, on the thirteenth day in September, as nature burst into new life and the Jasmine flowers bloomed, my “Miss J” was born. It wasn’t a lovely labour – you can read about it here – but when she was placed in my arms I couldn’t believe my good fortune. Another girl. Another healthy baby. Another life full of possibility. A sister for Miss A. A second daughter for us and a tribe of cousins ready to meet her.
We had shortlisted our girl names but hadn’t yet decided on the “the one.” It’s tempting to say we wanted to wait to see her to name her, but the truth is we simply couldn’t make up our minds. We liked three girls’ names equally. It was my husband who named her shortly after her arrival. “I think she looks like a J,” he said. He was right. She was small, delicate and oh-so-pretty. That she should be named after a Spring flower, the scent of which makes me happy, seemed perfect. And so, “Miss J” she became….